Acquiring-industry experts are urging ISOs to expand their wares beyond basic card-transaction services. But some have been doing that for years and aren’t about to stop.
Take the example of Merchant Warehouse, a Boston-based ISO. It got its start selling payments terminals online in 1998 and went on to help pioneer the promotion of point-of-sale systems, end-to-end encryption, smartphone apps, PIN steering, in-house processing and mobile payments.
Now, Merchant Warehouse has announced four products in its Genius Solution Suite. The company strips the software out of VeriFone terminals and replaces it with software developed in-house, says, Matt Cicciari, Merchant Warehouse director of product marketing.
The entry-level Genius EX offers mobile processing, the Genius TX adds gift and loyalty functions, Genius STX has a full package of features but is designed for merchants without integrated POS, and Genius ITX provides all of the company’s functions and eases compliance for merchants with integrated POS.
The products go far beyond the capabilities of standard payments terminals, Cicciari asserts.
“We look at terminals as dumb,” he says. “All it really does is act as the conduit to complete the transaction. There’s no opportunity to drive growth and accept alternative payment types.”
Because the systems operate in the cloud, the company can make changes to prevent the terminals from becoming obsolete as EMV and mobiles payments change, Cicciari says.
“It accepts any and all payment types,” he maintains. “It’s a holistic, future-proof solution.”
That means merchants will not have to turn down business because their terminals are failing to keep pace with a changing industry, he notes.
The flexibility of working in the cloud also means merchants and acquirers don’t have to place bets on which technological gambits will prevail, Cicciari maintains.
“We don’t have to take sides,” he says of the tech wars. “We’re going to accept them all.”
The system also provides customer data and analytics to retailers – “as much as little as they want,” Cicciari says.
Merchants can tie all their POS systems to the Genius platform and thus achieve consistency throughout their operations even if they have 18 stores with five to 10 lanes each, he says.
Merchants use a computer dashboard to choose the types of payments they want to accept and the loyalty schemes they want to provide.
The company is working with third-party loyalty vendors to expand the possibilities of the system, Ciciari notes.
The cost of the Genius system varies widely, with some merchants receiving the basic benefits from a free device to much higher costs for complex versions, he says.
The Merchant Warehouse direct sales staff is offering the products to its merchants, with some staff members specializing in promoting the technology, Cicciari says.
At the same time, the company is open to offering them through other ISOs, he notes.
The company may also make the software available on terminals from other manufacturers, Cicciari says.